tv [untitled] June 16, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
i would be nervous standing before you with there was a waiting list to get into the garage. it was turning away business and it was full all the time. as far as i can tell, that is not the case. i said the neighbors themselves don't value this asset. that is not to duplicate them. it is to say that, by objective economic measurement, it is not valued for its original use. like anywhere else, the people in this never would appear to be making rational economic decisions and availing themselves of the subsidized parking on the street. this parking inside this building is market rate and it does not appear to have the value they say it does. as far as the transit center, in a better world, there would be transit centers in every neighborhood. in the real world, they don't work without enormous subsidy. i am not aware of any way of subsidizing something like this.
maybe some day. it appears there has been a concession made in addition to the earlier concessions on setbacks on the 10 spaces for parking. frankly, we are a little disappointed. we like the earlier project better. it is putting too much emphasis to a land use that is not appropriate or less value than it is claimed to be in this neighborhood. we thought the earlier project was a lot better. that being said, we value the community process, the give-and- take. if concessions are made, we think that is valuable. but honestly, this is a good -- what was originally proposed as a good project for this location. i hope you can find a way to move it forward. president olague: thank you. are there any additional speakers in support of the project sponsor? each dr requester has two minutes for rebuttal.
>> i would like to reiterate that the requests tried to be moderate and achievable for the developer. i would also like to reiterate, russian hill is one of the -- is the most densely populated area with the least amount of public transportation. again, it has height of property. we would not be here if the current use -- again, it has high topography. if it had the current use aligned with what it was currently, no one would be here today about this project. so, we are asking the community who has used this garage, and cars have become in more demand, arguing against the current philosophy that is not being
used, that we would request that you take a look at the natural use of the garage and take that into account with the changes we have proposed for the project. thank you. president olague: thank you. >> as well, i would like to reiterate that we are really asking the commission to use their dr powers and look at the extraordinary circumstance, which is to balance the development of the property with the impact of the neighborhood. just so we are very clear, this is the second floor, street level. what we are asking is the first floor, the sub-level, and the second floor to be parking.
the third floor, which will be the fourth floor, the penthouse addition, to remain as condos. that is what we feel maintains the best balance of the neighborhood. a very quick note on this parking, it is true that hourly parking was not available to the merchants until 2008, but through this recession, that is what has sustained these restaurants. it is not just the restaurants immediately on hyde. it is in the neighborhood. the price of the parking for monthly renters was doubled in 2007. that was before the current project sponsor took it on. as was shown by the old republic example, that is a working, viable parking entity. in reality, we asked the project sponsor yesterday if he would be amenable to it being bought out
for $6 million. that is $100,000 of 60 spaces. the neighborhood could probably do that. that is to put it in perspective. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am here on behalf of the project sponsor. a couple of things to emphasize. the hourly parking has only been available since october 2008. before that, this was a repair garage. there was no hourly parking before october of 2008. we have offered 10 community parking spaces. that will probably accommodate about 30 restaurant customers a night. the parking spaces turn over about three times a night. we have an ability to provide 30 restaurant customers with parking.
we think we have solved that issue. the two extra spaces the russian hell neighbors have requested simply don't get much and cost a great deal. they wreck the lower unit. right now, it is a generous two- bedroom unit. there are also two extra parking spaces that would be awkward to use and not terribly functional. we request that you stick with the 17 spaces. it is the best balance between adding community parking and making that lower unit remain viable. we do agree with the russian neighbors that the 17-space garage be managed by a single entity so hourly parking can buy in be operated -- can viably be operated. finally, before our time got cut off, zoe was showing you a 10-
foot setback that we presented today. it was rejected but seems like a good solution. if you are not comfortable with the set back that we previously produced, we're willing to do the additional 10-foot matching might well, matching his light well. we think that solution goes more than a long while -- away. -- long way. president olague: thank you. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: some observations and questions. part of this is that there are areas where the city is chronically under-par, particularly in neighborhoods. downtown is not a problem. there are neighborhoods where you cannot find a place to park
except street parking. for obvious reasons, many of the structures were built before there were cars. even the ones built in the 1920's, only a few units with parking. today, we are exacerbating it by not requiring enough parking for new structures. that being said, we're dealing with a specific instance here. i don't think we will cure the entire parking problem with one project. looking at some of the things, the first question i had, i guess it would go to project sponsor, the use say the solution -- unbundled solution was possible? there was flexibility in including seven parking spaces that would be deeded to the owners. is that something you see as a
possibility? >> yes, we are agreeable to unbundling all 17 spaces. if there were homeowners that did not take spaces, that would add to availability. commissioner antonini: that could be helpful. somebody was commenting about an additional six spaces that would be doable if this were done by lifts or it would have to be done by valet. it would not be a self-park situation. is that possible? >> yes. you probably get six more spaces in the aisle of the garage. commissioner antonini: good. there's a possibility of a maximum of 23 including the six that would be accessible only a fromvalet o -- only from valet or if the owners had deeded
spaces, you would have 16. that sounds a little bit better. it sounds like it is going to be a little difficult. you would be shrinking the one unit down. we will see what the other commissioners have to say. the other part is -- i guess the commercial unit, which is never spoken about much, but the feeling is we don't want to sacrifice the commercial unit to increase the parking more to make any residential units larger. we want to stay with the plan with the commercial unit. i would assume that is what project sponsor -- docca. now we will get to the apartment, which is the impacts on the units on union street, the ones most impacted by light and air. they are to the north of the project. i would like to ask mr. gregg to
come up or mr. harney to speak to what would be agreeable. there have been some offers made today. i looked at this yesterday. we talked about increasing, cutting out the portion of the living room of unit one, which would allow more light and air. apparently, they have done that. it seems as though the amount is not adequate for what to expect. >> there is no question that each of the -- each increment of cutting back the existing structure is an improvement. i believe that the pictures i showed of the mass of the
building as it would affect the outlook from those buildings, from the tenants windows, would be essentially the same. it is just that the plane of the wall that faced the tenants in harney's building would be farther back. commissioner antonini: i understand that. of course, if you move a building from two feet up to 6 feet away from a particular building by increasing or making a matching light well, you're still going to see that building. you will let more light and air in as a result. i'm trying to say, what is it that specifically -- what kind of a notch are you looking at to make that acceptable? >> finally, that determination
has to be up to harney. i would say the most useful thing to do at this point, because we have this maze of story poles and strings from layers of proposals would be to give it a fair shake and block out the most recent proposal and look at it from the apartments and say, this works, or this is inadequate. commissioner antonini: ok. thank you. today we are hoping to make a decision on this. we may go with what we feel is an adequate amount of -- i don't know if you wanted to add anything to that. the other part of this is the awning. they have diminished the size of the yawning and i can see that going away entirely.
it may be helpful. there are ways to use shutters or curtains to block the problem of the light within your unit. i would think at least half the size of awning. can you give me an idea of what you're thinking of? >> in their own light study, october 20, 2010, it says that they can have the exterior lines. i am not a light study expert. if they had exterior lines, it would not need an awning. it affects the view part of the time. i encourage you to read the study regarding the awning. after we made the offer, right before the hearing, i asked harvey, how much does it really change? the answer was, it doesn't.
so, i think, you know, if we can cut it back a few feet, that would be great. i am not unreasonable. commissioner antonini: we will certainly take a look at that and see. they will still get lots of light and air. i will speak to the architect. my final part of this is, in terms of the penthouse addition, i think that -- i am of the school that i want to blend in with the building a little bit more. we wanted to let least be the same color. hopefully, we can treat the windows with the same lattice or some sort of treatment on the windows with some sort of panes that makes it sympathetic to the other, even though it is on the top floor.
that is something they can work with staff as far as design. project sponsors' architect, can you comment on what we can do in the corner of that room? >> talking about removing -- the proposal we mentioned from today? commissioner antonini: i have a copy of something here. maybe that kind of shows what we are talking about. we are talking about a diagonal space there. the question should be it is enough to cover the light well and open that up a little bit. it can even -- either be diagonal or even a rectangular notch. >> i think we have sort of hurt that -- heard that would make
sense would be to mirror the light well. this is the proposal we made earlier today. we take the east line and we mirror that for 10 feet across the line. there is no ambiguity or confusion. in addition, we maintain the plane so we are essentially out of the -- we cast shadows on the building from the previous scheme that we worked with the energy consultant. at a certain point, i think the energy report, what we're talking about is heat inside the unit. that is the previous scheme. >> this is three-dimensional.
i was trying to show a three- dimensional view of this one. what i'm trying to -- in the meantime -- something i want to clarify in terms of views and what you see out the window, they showed a photograph from the window to give you an idea of what you see. i think it is a very specific and somewhat subjective view. this is the view from the same unit looking out. this is modified. you can see there are three windows in question. the left-most window is facing, directly toward the building, the one kevin was talking about, with the blind shot. the curtains were open once. just to show you how much is actually seen of the proposal. we try to find a three-
dimensional version of this plan to show you how commissioner antonini, your suggestion of cutting back further to match the diagonal plan, we are already doing a roof there that is reducing mass to a great extent near the peril that -- parapet. that is one of the reasons we did sunsetting. it is going far and above what is necessary to quantitatively guaranteed that light and there are there. commissioner antonini: historically, we do a matching light well. i see the cut from the north- south direction. i am assuming your east-west cut out is the same as his light well, whatever that is. >> we took the model of the previous game and we -- previous
scheme and we showed how much we were blocking. >> that little blue piece. >> this is the previous scheme. this is the mirror. this is the avoid to match the light will perfectly. >> is the only part of it within that zone? >> what we're proposing today -- we are already matching to that window. it is a legitimate source of concern. commissioner antonini: it looks like it is matching in depth and witdth. >> it is 17-feet deep. commissioner antonini: the part where the windows began. ok. that gives me a pretty good
idea. i am inclined to go along with something like that. we will have to deal with the sunscreen, too. we will see what other commissioners have to say. president olague: commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i will give you reasons as to why we will use our discretionary review power and look at this project more carefully. the first thing is the unusual use within the established a neighborhood. when you look at the development land that surrounds this garage on all sides, it is about three and a half times larger than the majority. because of its design and height, it somewhat blends in. we now take this rather extraordinarily large building, at a floor on top of it, and it becomes something which inadvertently will create impact.
i do not believe that the five weeks we gave this project to find its own discussion, its own form of agreement, has done the job of achieving that. i believe what is in front of us is what it was before. i then and now totally disagree with the fact that this building comes so close to the perimeter of the existing footprint that i personally find that unacceptable. when you look closer at the unit's design, and unfortunately, the drawings are very small. there is no summary of units eyes. if you take a magnifying glass, i can pass that around if you need it, the majority are in the 2300-plus square foot range. it is like building single- family homes within an area of
where the average apartment is. we are getting something that is too large. i generally would say that the way the adaptive reuse is treated as not really sensitive enough to what i would expect to an adaptive reuse, which up with support. i think we're putting too much reuse into this building, which is really not quite sized properly, located properly in this neighborhood. when we look at adaptive reuse, for example, error building's south of market in industrial- zoned lots. there's an easier way of making it, so to speak. in this location, i don't believe it does. i'm not here to get into 16
spaces or 17 spaces. i do acknowledge that the existing uses beneficial to the neighborhood. i do not want to see additional buildings applying for added parking in ground floors. what is the balance? i don't know. i believe, as commissioner antonini said, the expansion of the new floor is much too much on the union street's apartments. for me, it is not even the discussion item, to talk about tilted planes. me, myself, living in an apartment building where stepping to the building -- window and participating in light is the issue, not staying way back in the center of the room, you will not see the intrusion of much. the impact is where it is. we all would like our windows to
give us full light rather than go way back into the room. i think that this -- note judgment here. i don't quite believe in it. let's leave it at that. i believe we should take the discretionary review and figure out what we want to do. i would definitely suggest that we reduce the top for quite a bit and that we look at the different combinations, perhaps smaller units, and then a better balance with the parking. commissioner antonini made some suggestions relative to funding parking. there might be some other things we want to talk about. president olague: commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: we can see what we can come up with if we get some agreement. i would approve the project with the following changes. parking will be unbundled.
seven deeded places and the other ten, plus possibly six others. the parking would have to be generally available on an hourly basis. i don't think the ability for rental on a monthly basis. project sponsor would work with the neighborhood to make sure we maximize the available parking spaces to keep my ability for the restaurants and uses. that is the first part. i would ask that there be a notch taken out no less than 10 x17. i think it was 10 feet in one direction and 7 feet deep. maybe we don't have that. i did not get a correct answer on what that dimension was. whatever that is, it has to have some depth. 10 on one dimension and i am
guessing 7 feet on the other. it has to go back a certain distance. 10x7. 10x7. yeah. 7 feet is where the depth of the windows and. it is 10x7. 10x7. yeah. i would eliminate the awning sunscreen. you need another way to take care of that. that will limit the impact of lot and make it less intrusive. finally, i would ask to work with staff on, you know, making the upper addition more contexture role with the rest of the building. >> i think a 10 foot by 7 foot that they have here includes a
reduction in the on. -- includes a reduction. [unintelligible] >> the building is already set back 10 feet. we would be increasing that to about 12 feet. 12 feet deep. 10 feet wide. >> the way we thought about this is that you would all line -- align -- you would match the light will for 10 feet. that higher zone would be protected. we don't have the kind of equipment to survey. >> the distance from here to
hear is about 12 feet. >> i think it is about 12, maybe -- >> commissioner moore -- >> in this drawing, the shaded area would have no building allowed. commissioner moore: i believe taking the discretion review is not just about a foot here or there. it is about rethinking about it. if it is only a response to the last-minute pressure you're getting, i find that disingenuous. you were able to respond to that particular question all along. i will not say that we're resolving that on the fly. this project is not getting any variance. this project in itself is too large to be compatible as i described it in terms of looking at the